Polish agriculture undergoes a structural transformation. The factors contributing to the economic changes in farms are varied. The paper tries to determine the role of qualifications and knowledge in this process. The article consists of two parts. The first one presents the significance of farmers’ social characteristics for the development of agricultural holdings. Using data from the research carried out by the Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics – National Research Institute (IAFE-NRI) on the sample of over three thousand units, a positive and statistically significant impact of farmers’ qualifications and knowledge on the process of investing in farms has been observed. The second part of the study describes and evaluates the system of shaping human capital in Polish agriculture, including agricultural education system as well as selected instruments of the agricultural policy.
Key words: structural changes, agriculture, knowledge, qualifications, farm